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Soccer friendly pays tribute to long-time coach

Sooke Celtic takes on Juan de Fuca on Saturday (June 25)
The Russ Urlacher Memorial Shield honours the legacy of the long-time local soccer player and coach. Sooke Celtic FC hosts Juan de Fuca All Flows in the inaugural game for the shield on June 26. (Contributed-Sooke Celtic FC)

It’s fitting that Sooke Celtic FC will host Juan de Fuca All Flows in the inaugural game for the Russ Urlacher Memorial Shield.

Urlacher, who grew up in Langford and East Sooke, died on March 9, 2020. He was heavily involved in the local soccer community and spent many years as a player and coach with both Vancouver Island Soccer League teams, said Sooke Celtic FC coach Pete McKay.

“Russ was a goalkeeper with Sooke Celtic for a number of years,” McKay said. “He was a real high-energy guy who brought a lot of passion to the sport. He knew how to raise the level of play of his teammates by knowing when to praise them and when to hold them accountable.

“He wasn’t shy about letting the other team know when he made a big save as well,” McKay added with a chuckle.

The game takes place Saturday (June 25) at 6 p.m. on the Edward Milne Community School field.

“We would love any fans to come out and enjoy the game,” McKay said. “This will be a good chance for people to see our new additions to the team for the upcoming season in September.”

Sooke Celtic FC is a men’s amateur soccer team that began play in 2006. The team has developed local youth players from the Sooke Soccer Club, which has proven instrumental in establishing the team as a soccer powerhouse.

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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